Calling all Produce 101 fans: Four former contestants of Season 2 of the survival show have joined forces for a project single, and it’s unexpectedly cool. YDPP, which includes MXM’s Im Youngmin and Kim Donghyun as well as Jeong Sewoon and Lee Gwanghyun, are bright and in single “Love It Live it.” I’m not sure what I was expecting from this song—it’s lowkey a Pepsi CF after all—but I certainly didn’t expect the lively composition and retro production that “Love It Live It” sets out to deliver. The heavy synth tune at the very beginning, the one that recurs throughout the song, it’s so awesome. It sounds like something out of an 80s-themed arcade. I would have loved to hear it incorporated into the chorus, but unfortunately that doesn’t happen. The hook that we do get—well, part of me digs it, and part of me wants to complain. In and of itself, the chorus is definitely fun and well-composed. But in the context of the rest of the song, the melody’s smooth funkiness feels a little too lithe, a little too slick. I wish it had been as in-your-face as that vibrantly warm synth riff which dominates the rest of the song. And here’s my other complaint: Why doesn’t the song let the members’ talents stretch? I don’t know what the point of promoting a project group is if you’re not going to demonstrate the participants’ abilities, but the only person who really gets to show off in “Love It Live It” is rapper Youngmin. Gwanghyun’s got pipes, but the range of his parts barely exceeds that of Youngmin’s singing parts. The only thing we get that’s close to a big vocal moment is an adlib by Sewoon that doesn’t go far. Back to Youngmin, though—I swear, that was his best verse ever. To be fair, all four guys deliver their parts with plenty of charm, even if it doesn’t always do their voices justice. And hey, the song’s catchy as heck, and its composition is gorgeous—tweaking background melodies here, changing up the synth progression there. I’m sure I’m going to have “I think about, think about you” stuck in my head for the next week, and I’m going to enjoy every second of it.
LOVE IT LIVE IT: KAYBOP OR KAYFLOP? Definite bop.
Take a look at YDPP’s “Love It Live It” MV below: